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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

THE AARD WOLF.                               413

of the organs of reproduction have led to the belief that a Hyaena
changes its sex every year. Its almost human-sounding howls
are supposed to be a deliberate trap for the unwary traveller.
There is also a legend that in the eye of the Hyaena is a stone
which if placed under the tongue of a man endows him with the
gift of prophecy.
Proteles presents many resemblances to the Hyaenas, but also
certain differences ; by many it is placed in a separate family.
There is but one species, P. cristata, the Aard Wolf of South
Africa. In outward aspect it is very Hyaena-like., the coat being
striped, and the ears, though longer, resembling those of a Hyaena.
There is also a mane. There are, however, five toes on the fore-
feet. The teeth are feebler, particularly the molars, which
are also reduced in number. The skull,, as in Hyaena, has no
alisphenoid canal, but the bulla tympani is divided by a
septum. The animal seems to feed largely upon insects,
particularly Termites, and also upon carrion.1
Of extinct Hyaenoids Ictitherium seems to be transitional
between them and the Viverridae. Its dentition, •§-, -J-, -J-, -J, is
that of a "Viverrid, and the feet are five-toed. The upper
carnassial tooth, however, is like that of Hyaena in having a
strong inner cusp. Other extinct genera of Hyaenas are Lycyaena,
and Hyaenictis. The genus Hyaena itself goes back as far as
to the Miocene, and occurred in Europe until the Pleistocene.
The Ca^ve Hyaena of this country seems to be indistinguishable
from Orocuta maculata, though it has received the name of H,
spelaea.
Fam. 5. Canidae.2—This family cannot be divided into more
than five genera, and is universally distributed with the exception
of ISTew Zealand. The auditory bulla is smooth and rounded, and
lias internally a very incomplete septum, extending through about
one-fourth or one-third of the cavity. The meatus has a fairly
prominent under lip. The paroecipital process is long and promi-
nent. The mastoid is distinct, though "but slightly developed.
The glenoid foramen is large; the condyloid foramen is con-
spicuous, and the carotid canal is deep within the foramen
lacerum posterius. The last three characters are Bear-like; the
1 Flower, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1869, p. 457.
a For a general account of the Canidae see Bfivart, A Monograph of the
London, 1890.